For a lot of us, the worst of the pandemic might appear to be over. But that’s not true for many in our community. So we’re pleased that the United Way of Frederick County launched its United in Recovery campaign Wednesday to help out.
The campaign, now in its second year, was established to specifically help individuals and families who earn too much to qualify for federal assistance but still can’t afford basic essentials. The funds raised help these “asset limited, income constrained, employed,” more commonly known as ALICE.
“We hoped we’d be through recovery at this time,” Ken Oldham, president and CEO of the local United Way. told us earlier this week. “This is really a rejuvenation of that campaign.”
We know that there are a lot of organizations looking to help others, especially at this time of year. But if you want to lend a hand, go to the United Way’s website at unitedwayfrederick.org.
We think County Councilman Michael Blue pretty much summed up our feelings about the $175 tax rebate for some homeowners that the County Council approved Tuesday night. While we get the motivation behind the legislation, we do wonder if it was the best way to spend the money.
“There’s a lot of good argument against what I’m doing,” Blue said at the meeting. “There are a lot of good arguments that support what I’m doing. I really have had quite the struggle to try to figure out a way to give … back to the taxpayers.”
What we like about the idea is that this money should go back to taxpayers. So we’re in complete agreement there. But is a homeowner rebate the best option? We’re not sure.
Several council members seemed to concur, as they described Blue’s proposal as imperfect though the best idea they had heard. Councilman Jerry Donald, the lone dissenter on the council, thought the county should use the nearly $7.5 million earmarked for rebates on larger projects such as school construction. Again, we get the logic, but as we said, we think residents deserve some of their tax money returned to them.
We wish the council had publicly weighed more options. Instead, we’re left wondering if there was a better idea.
A press release earlier this week from Mothers Against Drunk Driving provided us with what should be some sobering statistics.
From the day before Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve in 2019, 926 people were killed nationwide in drunk driving accidents, accounting for nearly 30 percent of that year’s traffic fatalities. And early estimates show those numbers may have increased by 9 percent in 2020, a year when the pandemic prompted fewer cars on the road.
State and local officials gathered at the Frederick County Law Enforcement Center Thursday morning to emphasize the real dangers of combining alcohol and driving. At the press conference, MADD asked motorists to display a red ribbon on their vehicles as a reminder to plan ahead to call a cab, ride-share or have a designated driver before taking part in a holiday celebration. It’s part of MADD’s 35th Annual Designated Driver Campaign called Tie One On for Safety.
The holidays can be dangerous times on the road. Increased traffic and cold-weather conditions can make travel bad enough under normal circumstances. We appreciate the reminder from MADD and our first responders. But we can’t underscore enough how irresponsible and deadly it is to drive after having a drink.
Finally this week, we send a hearty thumbs up to Sharon Grimet’s School of Dance.
Grimet’s Walkersville studio is offering free weekly classes to children and adults with disabilities. It’s a service she told reporter Jillian Atelsek that is lacking in the area — especially since the onset of the pandemic. The access to dancing is important to Grimet and her husband who have a 6-year-old daughter with cerebral palsy who loves to dance.
“I want this to be a community dance school,” Grimet said. “There’s something for everyone.”
It’s great that we have places such as this in our community.
Yeas and nays is a weekly feature of quick-hit opinions from The Frederick News-Post’s editorial board. Send your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.